I headed down south earlier this week to spend some time at the Honda Marine media event.
Honda hosted a group of boating journalists ahead of its dealer meeting on Lake Lanier, north of Atlanta.
The company introduced three new models, which I wrote about earlier. Beyond the products, though, what caught my attention was the attention the company continues to put on its culture and brand.
It was a constant point of emphasis during the product presentations from the Honda leadership Monday morning.
It’s what makes Honda different, said Scott Conner, vice president of power equipment, which includes the marine group.
“The Honda Way” emphasizes the “power of dreams,” he said.
“We’re striving to be a company that society wants to exist,” Conner said. “We want people to derive joy from our products.”
A lot of companies in the marine industry talk about the idea of company culture — and there are plenty that have a good culture — but there are few that seem to take it as seriously as Honda.
“It’s very real for us,” Honda Marine senior manager Mark DiPietro told me when we talked later in the day. “It informs everything we do.”
It’s also very clear that the Honda team feels the brand recognition of the Honda name in the general marketplace gives them an advantage as well. Among the general (non-boating) population, it’s arguably the best-known brand in the boating industry.
DiPietro said that is one of the reasons Honda does so well with pontoon buyers, many of whom are first-time boat owners, likening it to the purchase of a family car.
You can see DiPietro talk about this some more in the video below (or click here).